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ARSCLIST  August 2004

ARSCLIST August 2004

Subject:

Re: audio reel archival containers

From:

Matt Bailey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 16 Aug 2004 15:37:19 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (207 lines)

In answer to your question "Does anyone manufacture "breathable" cans
specifically for audio recordings?" I can say, "yes." In fact, that is
what led me to begin this thread in the first place. I was seeking
information on whether anyone had experience with the Tuscan brand of
"vented" audio reel containers:

http://www.tuscancorp.com/products/audio.html

I can now report that I received a sample today and was less than
impressed. While the construction of the case is pretty good (sturdy
polypropylene), the design leaves something to be desired.

The design features a small indentation on the top in each corner and
small "feet" on the bottom in the corners. These interlock to keep
stacks of the cases from sliding around. This is fine, I suppose if you
are keeping your reels stored flat, but not if you are keeping them
stored vertically (which is recommended, no?) If you try to store them
vertically, the top and bottom of the case tend to slip apart. They are
not quite snug enough to stay closed on their own.

The "vent" is actually two 1/8" holes (one on the spine top, one on the
spine bottom (or left or right sides, I suppose)). One could achieve the
same effect (or better) with a hand drill.

Since they are a couple of cents more expensive to purchase than the
Quantegy TapeCare cases, which seem sturdier and more suited to vertical
storage, I can't really recommend these Tuscan cases.

Too bad. I really wanted to like these.

Matt Bailey

Watsky, Lance wrote:

> Peter:
>
> Thank you for the reply and clearing up the info regarding cardboard
> boxes for the storage of audio. In the realm of motion picture storage,
> there are several vendors of film cannisters that are created to allow
> the acetic vapors to escape (ie. vented or slitted). Does anyone
> manufacture "breathable" cans specifically for audio recordings? Can you
> think of any reasons for not using the one's that are designed for
> motion pictures?
>
> Lance Watsky
> Preservation & Media Specialist
> The Georgia Archives
> 5800 Jonesboro Road
> Morrow, GA 30260
> 678-364-3764 (phone)
> 678-364-3860 (fax)
> [log in to unmask]
> www.GeorgiaArchives.org
>
>
>     -----Original Message-----
>     *From:* Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>     [mailto:[log in to unmask]]*On Behalf Of *[log in to unmask]
>     *Sent:* Monday, August 16, 2004 2:42 PM
>     *To:* [log in to unmask]
>     *Subject:* Re: [ARSCLIST] audio reel archival containers
>
>     Lance:
>
>     I apologies for being unclear in my response.  My response was
>     specific to vinegar syndrome and was intended to point out that
>     cardboard boxes could act to slow down vinegar syndrome simply
>     because they would allow the buildup of acetic acid to dissipate.  I
>     did not mean to imply that I think using cardboard boxes to store
>     tape in is a good idea.  As a disaster recovery specialist, I
>     heartily disapprove of storing tape in cardboard boxes but for
>     reasons other than vinegar syndrome.
>
>     In addition to your point that many boxes have an unacceptable PH,
>     cardboard boxes also supply virtually no protection to the tape from
>     crushing or falling damage, provide no protection against water
>     incursion, retain moisture that can damage tape, are flammable, are
>     subject to mold growth that can infect the tape and can produce
>     contaminating dust as they age.
>
>
>     Peter Brothers
>     President
>     SPECS BROS., LLC
>     (201) 440-6589
>     www.specsbros.com
>
>     Restoration and Disaster Recovery Service Since 1983
>
>
>
>      -----Original Message-----
>     *From:* Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>     [mailto:[log in to unmask]]*On Behalf Of *Watsky, Lance
>     *Sent:* Wednesday, August 11, 2004 9:10 AM
>     *To:* [log in to unmask]
>     *Subject:* Re: [ARSCLIST] audio reel archival containers
>
>         Peter:
>
>         It was clear from your posting, that good airflow in a container
>         will help to slow down the rate of acetic acid build-up, thus
>         helping to slow down the rate of deterioration. My concern with
>         your posting, is when you mentioned that "cardboard boxes would
>         work well". It needs to be added that the "old" cardboard boxes
>         are usually not inert to begin with, and have a very high Ph,
>         they will decompose over time and eventually give off acid on
>         their own. Certainely, we have all seen old acetate tapes that
>         have turned brown, sometimes even leaving an imprint of the
>         plastic reel. Since this is true, then the acid that is emitted
>         from the breakdown of the cardboard boxes will actually help to
>         speed up the deterioration, *unless new inert boxes are utilized*.
>
>         Thanks,
>         Lance Watsky
>         Preservation & Media Specialist
>         The Georgia Archives
>         5800 Jonesboro Road
>         Morrow, GA 30260
>         678-364-3764 (phone)
>         678-364-3860 (fax)
>         [log in to unmask]
>         www.GeorgiaArchives.org
>
>             -----Original Message-----
>             *From:* Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>             [mailto:[log in to unmask]]*On Behalf Of *[log in to unmask]
>             *Sent:* Tuesday, August 10, 2004 6:25 PM
>             *To:* [log in to unmask]
>             *Subject:* Re: [ARSCLIST] audio reel archival containers
>
>              From the testing I've reviewed, it's pretty clear that
>             acetic acid will catalyze the breakdown of acetate.  As
>             such, any method (that does not otherwise damage the
>             acetate) of removing traces of the acid from  proximity to
>             the tape should help slow down the reaction.   Testing has
>             shown that acetate tapes will decay slower if they are
>             exposed to an air-flow that removes the residual acid than
>             will tapes that are in sealed containers that trap the acid
>             inside.  Cardboard boxes would work well for the simple
>             reason that they are not air-tight and allow the acid to escape.
>
>             It's also important to have a positive air pressure and air
>             flow in the storage area so that the acid is removed from
>             the area.  Removing the acid from the proximity of one tape
>             and then trapping it in a room can catalyze breakdown in
>             other tapes stored in the same space.
>
>             The Tuscan cans should work ok as long as there is enough
>             air movement in the room to allow some air to circulate
>             through the air vents and channels in the cases.
>
>             Peter Brothers
>
>                 -----Original Message-----
>                 *From:* Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>                 [mailto:[log in to unmask]]*On Behalf Of *[log in to unmask]
>                 *Sent:* Tuesday, August 10, 2004 9:02 AM
>                 *To:* [log in to unmask]
>                 *Subject:* Re: [ARSCLIST] audio reel archival containers
>
>                 In a message dated 8/9/2004 5:11:12 PM Eastern Standard
>                 Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
>
>                     I'm suspicious
>                     that the traditional cardboard box is functioning
>                     something like a
>                     molecular sieve and absorbing some of the acetic
>                     acid outgassing/effluent
>                     from the tapes and retarding any vinegar syndrome.
>
>                 ***************
>
>                 Keeping tape in unsealed cardboard boxes does seem to
>                 help preserve it.
>
>                 "ProVent Audio's vented design allows active airflow
>                 through the container to prolong the life of audio tape
>                 or 8mm film."
>
>                 Everything I've seen indicates that you want to get the
>                 acetic acid out of the room completely, not trap it near
>                 the acetate.  Controlling the room's humidity should
>                 prevent excessive drying.
>
>                 The thickness of film base may be a factor in preventing
>                 the acetic acid from leaving the material, explaining
>                 the faster deterioration, however the compulsion to seal
>                 film in metal cans in sealed vaults certainly has a
>                 greater effect. I've yet to see vinegar syndrome in any
>                 of my 40+ year old tape or film, however the material I
>                 just received from a friend who was meticulous about
>                 "protecting" his material definitely does show the
>                 effect (now stored in a separate room for airing).
>
>                 Mike Csontos

--
Matt Bailey
Audiovisual Archivist

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
University of Georgia Libraries
Athens, GA 30602-1641
(706)542-5788
http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/

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